kahle assembly system for a flush syringe

September 2021 | Drug Development & Delivery SPECIAL FEATURE – Designing Simplicity, Safety, & Adherence Into One Delivery System

The global injectable drug delivery devices market is expected to show significant growth in the coming years as manufacturers introduce technological advancements and product innovation meant to improve convenience, compliance, and ease of administration of parenterals. Additionally, the increasing preference for at-home self-injection is driving the market as patients prefer to continue to avoid healthcare settings post-COVID. With all of this taken into ac­ count, one market study predicts the global market to reach almost $26 billion by 2025, up from $15 billion in 2020.1 However, another report values the global market at $42.76 billion in 2021 and expects it to reach $50.9 billion in 2025.2
How the numbers will play out is yet to be determined, but the studies do highlight the focus on single-use and reusable systems. Disposable-use prefilled syringes (PFS) are increasingly used due to the prevalence of chronic diseases and the growing number of biologics best delivered by syringes. Single-use autoinjectors are also poised to experience increased demand, particularly with the growing pervasiveness of anaphylaxis disorders. Autoinjectors also provide a convenient alternative to manual syringe injections for subcutaneous administration.
But their reusable brethren, such as pen injectors with prefilled cartridge, are also proving viable syringe alternatives. These injectors can per­ form hundreds of injections, with patients controlling the speed of delivery to minimize pain or discomfort during use.
“Making injection devices partially reusable is a cost-saving strategy,” says William Fortina, Business Development Director, Duoject Medical Systems. “Ideally, the device’s mechanism and/or electronics are the reusable parts of the system – as these are often the costliest – and the drug containers and needle are one-time use.”
Another cost-saving strategy that several large pharmaceutical companies are deploying is to develop a de­ vice platform for multiple drug products in their portfolio, says Mr. Fortina. “This allows them to spend re­ sources on a single significant development program, for one optimal injection device, which then requires minimal customization for each subsequent product line.”
Despite efforts to make better, safer, simpler injection devices, patient adherence is still a challenge associated with self-administration. This has resulted in the emergence of smart devices, such as wearable injectors, which share patient data with health­ care providers to ensure compliance. And while it is expected this sector will continue to grow, some industry insiders warn against making these devices to intrusive
“Smart devices, interconnectivity, and related technology provide real­ time data to healthcare providers for analysis, but these device additions should not increase risks, including patient understanding of treatment delivery, or jeopardize compliance,” says Michael Denzer, Vice President of Technical Solutions at Kymanox. “Data collection needs to be “passive” to the patient. In other words, invisible to the patient’s use of the device so that the collected data provides a true benefit to the end user. If these design considerations can be implemented without impacting the patient or how they ad­ minister and receive treatment, then smart devices can provide advantages to the patient and the industry.”

This annual Drug Development & Delivery report takes a deep dive into the myriad injectables that are either currently in development or recently introduced to the market.

Kahle Automation: Custom Equipment for Various Injection Devices

According to Julie Logothetis President of Kahle Automation, regardless of design and safety advances, the needle and syringe play an integral role in drug delivery from low dead space designs that maximize the dosing of the COVID- 19 vaccine to auto-retractable syringes and unique new injection device designs that provide for economic self-contained devices that allow vaccine injections that can be easily distributed worldwide and meet single-use injection requirements.
Kahle Automation has been designing and building custom high­ speed automation equipment for multiple injection device projects, providing solutions that assemble devices from 10ppm to 700ppm with completely validated manufacturing and packaging systems to meet the de­ mands of the industry. Current projects include micro-injection devices for ocular injections, low-dead-space safety needles and syringes, auto-re­ tractable syringes that self-destruct once the injection is delivered, and glass syringes that allow for the drug and the delivery system to be combined into one device.

Article excerpt sourced from drug-dev.com, read the full article in: SPECIAL FEATURE – Injection Devices: Designing Simplicity, Safety & Adherence Into One Delivery System

Corriere Della Sera – Milan Italy

May 2021| Corriere Della Sera – Milan Italy

Kahle, a worldwide provider of Custom Automation for the Medical Device and Pharmaceutical industries has broken ground on the expansion of their manufacturing facility in Caravaggio Italy. Kahle will be adding 25,000 square feet of manufacturing and office space to better serve our customers and our growing business. The new design of the building allows for green spaces for the benefit of both the environment and employees. As part of the expansion Kahle will be adding 30 new positions, 14 will be in the mechanical engineering office and the balance will be in machine construction and debug. Construction is scheduled to be complete by the end of 2021.

To read the balance of the article: https://primatreviglio.it/economia/primo-maggio-tra-aziende-e-cantieri-il-sindaco-in-arrivo-150-nuovi-posti-di-lavoro/

Smithsonian National Museum American History

May 2021 | Smithsonian National Museum of American History

Written by Eric S. Hintz

The United States has a long history of welcoming and encouraging immigrant inventors such as telephone inventor Alexander Graham Bell (Scotland), electrical wizard Nikola Tesla (Croatia), and Google’s search engine co-inventor Sergey Brin (Russia). American independent inventors have often been valorized as symbols of rugged individualism; this is especially true for bootstrapping immigrant inventors. Like all inventors, America’s immigrant inventors had to overcome technical challenges and resistance to the adoption of their products, but they also had to overcome additional social and cultural barriers as outsiders in a strange land.

But American immigrant inventors were not just rugged individualists; they were also rugged altruists. After earning hard-won financial success in the United States, the most successful immigrant inventors often channeled their generosity back to their homelands or to communities of immigrants living in the United States. In this blog post, I examine how the immigrant experience influenced the charitable giving and service activities of two immigrant inventors from the early 20th century—Leo Baekeland and Charles Eisler—whose historical collections are preserved at the National Museum of American History.

To read the balance of the article: https://invention.si.edu/immigrant-inventors-giving-back

Automatic Pilot: Automation Provides Solutions for Assembly Challenges

September 2020 | Medical Product Outsourcing (MPO) Julie Logothetis, President, Kahle Automation was interviewed in the following article: Automatic Pilot: Automation Provides Solutions for Assembly Challenges

Industry 4.0 and IoT technologies can help provide solutions for the growing assembly and automation demands from medical device manufacturers. Products are getting smaller and more complex—this miniaturization puts increased pressure on automation and component suppliers to make high-volume components at much tighter tolerances than they’re used to.

Industry 4.0 technologies help to integrate operations, parts, workstations, and other tasks seamlessly across the factory floor. Medical device OEMs rely on automation to maximize product quality through consistent part assembly, precise placement of smaller or high-precision medical products, and manufacturing speed for higher volumes. Sensors, big data, and predictive analytics also analyze machine performance and boost production, throughput, and maintenance.

To gain more insight on the trends and challenges affecting the assembly and automation industries, I spoke with several assembly and automation experts over the past few weeks:

The COVID-19 pandemic has called for a huge increase in demand for basic medical devices. U.S. manufacturers who spent the last few decades thinking about ways to cut costs by purchasing the products from China and not investing in updates to their internal manufacturing infrastructure are now seeing upgrades to their manufacturing are going to be needed.

– Julie Logothetis, president of Kahle Automation, a Morristown, N.J.-based provider of high-speed automation and process equipment for the medical device, pharmaceutical, and healthcare industries.

Article excerpt sourced from www.mpo-mag.com, read the full article in: September 2020 | Medical Product Outsourcing (MPO)

Sam Brusco, Associate Editor 09.01.20

Assembling with Reliability

September 2019 | Medical Product Outsourcing (MPO) Assembling with Reliability and Repeatability Through Automation

John Wuschner, VP Engineering and Quality, Kahle Automation was interviewed in the following article:

Assembling with Reliability and Repeatability Through Automation

Progress in assembly and automation technologies enable manufacturers to leverage capabilities such as Industry 40.o and loT for medical device fabrication

Mark Crawford, Contributing Writer09.09.19

Assembly and automation are still going strong as medical device manufacturers (MDMs) continue to outsource these services to trusted contract manufacturers (CMs). Needs vary widely from project to project, depending on device design, complexity, materials, production volume, and end-use application. Sometimes the solution is obvious and straightforward; other projects require some creativity and innovation. Automation, in particular, is in high demand for maximizing quality, eliminating variables that impact reliability, reducing costs, and speeding up time to market. Automation manufacturers see the need for advanced equipment and continue to bring out new models with added capabilities that improve assembly operations.

“Expanding global demand for low-cost healthcare, coupled with rising labor costs and increased quality demands, are creating a perfect storm fueling the demand for automation,” said Mark Burzynski, president of The Arthur G. Russell Company, a Bristol, Conn.-based designer and builder of custom automated assembly and test systems for the high-volume medical device market.

“Automation increases the reliability and repeatability of any process, allowing manufacturing to run virtually lights out,” added Eugenio Dolci, technical director at In’Tech Toulon, a French manufacturing facility for Memphis, Tenn.-based In’Tech Medical, a global manufacturer of orthopedic products. “Automation can be part of the machining, finishing, and inspection processes, from handling raw material to documenting the final inspection.”

To provide solutions for the increasingly challenging assembly and automation demands from their OEMs, CMs must remain open to new ideas and approaches regarding automation and other Industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things (IoT) technologies that can improve assembly operations, especially as products get smaller and more complex. Miniaturization puts increased pressure on not only automation suppliers, but also component suppliers, to produce high-volume components at much tighter tolerances than before.

“For example, what was once allowable flash is no longer tolerable,” said John Wuschner, vice president of engineering and quality for Kahle Automation, a Morristown, N.J.-based provider of high-speed automation and process equipment for the medical device, pharmaceutical, and healthcare industries. “Feeders now require higher-precision tooling since small variations in a track are now a larger percentage of the total component size and more easily cause jams.”

And even though automation systems are overall coming down in price, the complexity of advanced machine control systems and programs continues to rapidly advance. As much as OEMs want to control costs, they also see the advantage of IoT-enabled features such as operator interface unit screens, alarms, diagnostics, and data analytics—which drive up equipment costs.

“Capabilities like these have pushed the cost of the average machine control system to about half of the cost of a project, compared to about 20 percent in the 1990s,” said Burzynski.

These extra costs, however, can be recovered down the road through improved operational efficiencies, less downtime, and faster speed to market—sometimes only in a matter of months.

What OEMs Want
The basic needs of OEMs don’t change—they want greater functionality, tighter tolerances, faster speed to market, and lower costs. Increased quality control as well as reliability and repeatabilty of process are also a must, which become more challenging for CMs as their OEMs embrace miniaturization and more complex geometries.

“We’re in the plastic-joining business, and what we continue to see are devices—portable, wearable, implantable—that contain ever smaller and even more precise plastic and electronic parts,” said Tarick Walton, global product manager of ultrasonics for Emerson Automation Solutions, a Danbury, Conn.-based provider of automation technologies to the medical device industry. “Miniaturization is everything. Plastic parts are getting smaller in every dimension, thinner, and lighter weight, with smaller weld joints, smaller contact surfaces, and finer edges and fit requirements.”

Smaller generally means higher development costs. OEMs are eager to offset these cost increases in any way they can, often through improvements in manufacturing efficiency—even small gains can add up to significant savings in time and money.

“OEMs are especially looking for cost reductions associated with process optimizations,” said Dolci. “For example, plug-and-play programs that integrate automation make it easy to scale up, once the process is proven out by production-equivalent verification and validation prototypes.”

OEMs expect their CMs to come up with both practical and creative ways to streamline operations, speed up assembly, reduce costs, and get to market faster. For example, as ultrasonic welding processes scale up, they utilize more operators and different automation processes, which require a different method of data management. “Our approach at Emerson is to ensure that our welders—and all channels of incoming weld data—can be connected into a factory data system, which enables process engineers to review data streams and identify and respond to production concerns quickly,” said Walton.

As intent as OEMs are to find cost savings however they can, they are equally focused on getting to market—fast. They constantly push their CMs to get products out as quickly as possible. OEMs are also always looking for quick turnarounds on proposals so they can submit their own proposals to their customers, who are keen on shortening their product development cycles as much as they can.

However, OEMs must remember that “developing a proposal isn’t necessarily quick or easy—for assembly and automation, proposal development often requires concepting, risk assessment, and cost/time estimating,” said Wuschner. “The process often has to be completed iteratively, with minimal information at the start evolving into more and more details and changes to automation concepts as the design and processes change, or as information becomes more available.”

Wuschner also noted that an increased number of customers want to automate processes they had previously sent offshore for manual assembly. This often requires the development of customized handling and processing techniques for difficult components and assemblies. “This presents a challenge for automation suppliers who have consolidated to a standard chassis, where there is less flexibility,” he said.

Technology Trends Advance
Robotics, automation, and vision systems are becoming easier to program and use, often with “plug and play” capabilities. Automation systems are increasingly modular and scalable. This makes CMs more nimble, allowing them to put assembly systems together quickly to meet new market opportunities, or fluctuating volume demands. New versions with improved capabilities (especially software) seem to come out every month.

Advances in intelligent control systems, safety systems, and computer power have made real-time, human-robot collaboration a reality across a variety of manufacturing industries. Sensor technologies with shut-off systems can immediately deactivate collaborative robots if any variance is detected in their behavior, allowing humans to work safely beside them. Collaborative six-axis robots are getting smaller and more lightweight and require no safety barriers, which reduces their footprint on the shop floor.

A blog posting on the Universal Robots website explained that “Cobots have become a critical competitive advantage for small and mid-sized specialty medical device manufacturers and is helping to fill automation gaps for larger OEMs with processes that couldn’t be cost-effectively automated in the past.”

Cobots can be added to modular robotic cells to meet fluctuating production demands. Other key cobot benefits include flexible deployment, safe operation alongside human workers, easy programming and implementation, and fast return on investment. Integrating collaborative robots into assembly cells can free up full-time workers and move them to higher-value tasks. Return on investment on integrating cobots into assembly cells can be as short as three to six months, especially for large projects.

Adhesives are used in medical device assembly to join or seal multiple parts. Popular adhesives include silicones, polyurethanes, and polysulfides. The type of adhesive formulation used depends on multiple factors, especially the chemical and physical properties of the materials to be bonded and the end-use application for the device. Advanced adhesives can also replace mechanical fasteners for improved performance, reduced costs, and greater resistance to sterilization processes. Pressure-sensitive adhesive tapes can also be an effective solution for joining small components in miniaturized devices.

While there are many bonding techniques available, light-curing technologies offer multiple benefits. These adhesives work with metals, glass, composites, and many plastics. They cure within seconds at ambient temperature without any oxygen inhibition, depending on wavelength, intensity, adhesive thickness, and distance from the light source. Other benefits of medical grade UV/visible light cure compounds are thin bond lines, thermal stability, and good strong resistance to sterilization technologies, including gamma radiation, autoclaving, hydrogen peroxide, and ethylene oxide.

Low-wicking, LED-curable, and moisture-resistant adhesives improve the range of design options for many medical devices. “The development of new needle bonding adhesives, for example, when properly matched with jetting applicators and LED UV curing systems, has greatly improved the efficiency and reliability of the needle bonding process,” said Burzynski.

Intertronics, an Oxfordshire, England-based provider of adhesives, sealants, and coatings, manufactures the DYMAX MD UV adhesives for medical device assembly, including needle assemblies. Curing occurs at room temperature upon exposure to UV and visible light.

“The combination of high intensity visible and longwave UV light greatly enhances the speed and depth of cure,” the company explains on its website. “This advantage offers the greatest benefit in needle bonding applications involving opaque hubs and deep wells.”

Ultrasonic welding is a preferred approach for attaching small or delicate or complex-shaped parts, or different materials, in smaller and more complex devices. As parts become lighter weight, smaller, and thinner in every dimension, more companies rely on ultrasonic welding to attach parts for delicate devices, including those with embedded electronics. The need to bond smaller, lighter, and increasingly delicate plastic parts is also driving innovation, requiring ultrasonic welding manufacturers to provide greater precision and tunable control with increasingly less actuation force—the force that pushes down on the interface between two plastic parts and triggers the start of the welding process.

This process can be a bit tricky—too much frictional heat can melt through the parts and too much actuation or weld force can distort, warp, or damage them even as the weld process starts. “However, the latest generation of ultrasonic welders provides a new level of precision control over ultra-low forces, right down to 5N, or about one pound of trigger force, depending on the application,” said Walton. “This sensitive force control is comparable to a feather’s touch.”

This makes ultrasonic welding ideal for highly sensitive parts, especially those with electronic components, such as power modules and miniature printed circuit boards. In addition, ultrasonic welding is widely adaptable and can be tuned to changing product design and assembly requirements, so that the energy and force required for proper part joining can be balanced to achieve the gentleness required to prevent electronics damage.

The Emerson Branson GSX Ultrasonic Welding Platform is specifically designed with an advanced, electro-mechanical actuation system that precisely delivers ultra-low trigger and weld forces. Equipped with a precise linear encoder and a multi-core processor, this actuation system instantly adjusts to real-time feedback, “ensuring high precision and repeatability across multiple welders while limiting part variability to just microns,” said Walton. “The GSX also features smart software capabilities such as the position tracking ball, which allows users to intuitively access weld and graph data at their fingertips.” Other benefits include a quick-stack exchange system that ensures tooling alignment, reducing part switchover times from more than an hour to just minutes.

The GSX is also Industry 4.0/IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things)-enabled, providing access to performance and diagnostic data and supporting production efficiency and traceability that complies with industry regulatory standards such as FDA 21 CFR Part 11. It provides barcode readers, a robotic interface, ethernet connectivity, discrete I/Os for automation, and the industry’s most comprehensive weld data outputs for statistical process and product quality control.

Customized Equipment
Kahle Automation has developed its own feeding systems and continues to improve its efficiencies in terms of both production uptime and energy use. “We recently developed a new vibration control architecture that has allowed us to see energy uses on our feeders drop to around 25 percent of what they were prior to implementation,” said Wuschner. “This not only saves energy, but also reduces wear on components [longer spring life] and eliminates the need to adjust the controller during the shift as the mechanical components warm up.”

Kahle Automation recently contracted with a client to build a machine to assemble extremely small needle assemblies. The cannula were oriented radially and press-fit into a roughly 5-mm-square cube, glued, and cured at a rate of 630 ppm. The cannula are 18 G x 6 mm long and even the cannula manufacturer had trouble handling the material. None of the existing feeding and handling methods worked effectively at this short length. To meet this challenge, Kahle created a new method of feeding and orienting that was specific to this particular cannula. A separate development took place to determine the most practical method for press-fitting the cannula that would prevent blockage, since the ID flow is very critical in the final application.

“Old paradigms had to be set aside and extensive development was undertaken to first singulate from bulk, then orient axially, and finally radially,” said Wuschner. “A 30-ppm pilot system was developed to prove the development on a larger scale first—the production line is now operational at 630 ppm.”

Higher-precision tooling and components also require changes from the customer regarding their approach to training on the equipment. “As machines become more sophisticated, machine technicians must become more system-oriented in their approach to troubleshooting,” said Wuschner. “The diagnostic tools they will use require a higher level of understanding and the solutions a more delicate approach.”

“More technologically advanced equipment also requires technologically advanced support personnel, which are in short supply,” Burzynski added.

Collaboration Is Key
As products become more complex, and OEMs want higher quality, improved functionality, faster speed to market, and lower costs, design for manufacturability (DFM) becomes more crucial. DFM brings all key partners into the creative process. Still today, a surprising number of OEMs do not give serious consideration to assembly and automation. In fact, part of the DFM process includes designing for automation. This includes working with the CM to create cost-effective solutions for proof of concept, which builds confidence in the design and process before investing in expensive equipment. Planning for automation and assembly during the product design phase becomes increasingly important as more devices are designed with the Internet of Things and Industry 4.0 in mind, which continue to revolutionize the production capabilities of factory automation and assembly.

“Everyone has paradigms in this industry and there are times when customers have pre-conceived ideas of ‘the best way’ to do something, based on their own experience or the limits of technology at the time their method was developed,” said Wuschner. “This can, at times, lead to complacency with their existing processes and a reluctance to try new technologies.”

This is when MDMs should pull their trusted subcontractors into the design process and benefit from their knowledge experience and advice, prior to making significant investments in the production process (for example, molds). One of the biggest questions a team must answer is, simply, can a product be manufactured at a low-enough cost so that it will be profitable? What design or process modifications are needed? Automation and assembly are key factors in that decision.

“Being in the custom automation business for 100 years provides Kahle with a great deal of experience, as well as exposure to many different technologies,” added Wuschner. “We see all kinds of operations around the world and have worked on many different products. Process applications or feeding systems developed for one product often give us a knowledge base that we can successfully apply to process challenges for customers in other markets, such as medical devices.”

Article sourced from www.mpo-mag.com September 2019 | Medical Product Outsourcing (MPO) Assembling with Reliability and Repeatability Through Automation

Mark Crawford is a full-time freelance business and marketing/communications writer based in Madison, Wis. His clients range from startups to global manufacturing leaders. He also writes a variety of feature articles for regional and national publications and is the author of five books.

September 2019 | Drug Development & Delivery SPECIAL FEATURE – Injection Devices: Wearable, Connectivity & Patient-Centric Designs Empower Self-Administration

The global self-injection devices market is expanding at a rapid pace due to high prevalence and incidence rate of chronic diseases, technological advancements, new product development and commercialization, and product differentiation strategies adopted by leading pharmaceutical companies worldwide. In terms of revenue, the global market was valued at $3.7 billion in 2017 and is projected to reach $11.3 billion by 2026.1

“The high numbers of new injectable drugs projected to reach the market in the coming years, as well as the trend to move therapies from clinics into home settings to save costs and provide more convenience for patients means increasing demands for injection devices,” says Hans Jensen, Global Business Development Director, Consort Medical, Bespak Drug Delivery Devices.

The global self-injection devices market is also driven by a significant rise in demand for home health care, owing to low cost of treatment and improvements in overall patient experience. The ability of self-administration is a key factor fueling demand for pen injectors. The pen injectors segment held a significant share of 67.6% of the market in 2017 and research indicates that it is likely to be the leading product segment, owing to the applications in diabetes, easy availability, and low cost, according to a report from Transparency Market Research.

Technological advancements in self-injection devices, especially in autoinjectors and wearable injectors, for the administration of high-viscosity and large-volume drugs represents a potential business development opportunity for leading players. Reports suggest that the wearable injectors segment is projected to expand at a CAGR of 20% between 2018 and 2026.1

“Traditional spring-based autoinjectors have previously been sufficient to deliver the drugs being developed, however many biologics by nature need higher doses to have an effect, which leads to higher viscosities and/or higher volumes to be delivered,” says Mr. Jensen. “Furthermore, others are working on viscous long-acting formulations to decrease frequency of injections, thereby increasing patient convenience. Finally, a number of drugs initially developed for IV administration in clinics are being re-formulated to allow home administration, but that also can result in high viscosity and/or higher doses that may not be appropriate for traditional autoinjector devices.”

This exclusive Drug Development & Delivery report highlights the innovation in injection devices – from wearables to connectivity to varied dose administration – that have occurred in the past year.

Kahle Automation: Micro-Assemblies & Components for Wearable Injection Devices

As products are getting smaller and tolerances are getting tighter, this puts pressure on the automation suppliers and component suppliers to produce high-volume components at much tighter tolerances. These micro-assemblies and associated micro-components are crucial to the functionality of today’s complex drug delivery and diagnostic devices, states Julie Logothetis, President of Kahle Automation.

Kahle designs and builds automation equipment for micro-assemblies with production outputs ranging from 10ppm to 630ppm. Its knowledge includes the feeding and assembly of molded components, tubing, and cannula as small as 6mm long and 32G. Its equipment can integrate micro-dispensing, vision and leak testing, punching filters and diagnostic mediums, welding, and cannula bending.

Micro Fluid Path Assembles by a Kahle Machine

Kahle recently completed several projects involving the assembly of the internal fluid path of wearable injection devices. “It is critical for these products to keep the fluid path patent even through the complex maze of tubing and bent cannula required to navigate the path within the internal working of the device,” says Ms. Logothetis. Kahle offers cannula bending technology that can bend 29G cannula up to 120 degrees while maintaining orientation of the ground sharp.

In addition, Kahle has provided the automation for the manufacture of an ocular injection device that will allow the practitioner to perform a precision injection in the eye to the exact point of treatment, she says.

Article sourced from www.drug-dev.com SPECIAL FEATURE – Injection Devices: Wearables, Connectivity & Patient-Centric Designs Empower Self-Administration

Women in MedTech

July 2019 | Medical Design and Outsourcing Special Feature Women in MedTech

Women account for nearly one-third of employees in the manufacturing industry, where men have historically held the majority of jobs, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

The situation includes manufacturers and other outsourcers serving the medical device space.

The lack of diversity is even more apparent farther up the corporate leadership ladder. According to a report from the Centers for American Progress, women hold 52% of professional jobs in the U.S., but only 14.6% of CEOs are women.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission also reports that only a fifth of executives, senior officers and managers in the U.S. high-tech industries are women.
To close out Women’s History Month this year, here are 11 women in manufacturing you should know.

Leadership roles: Q&A with Julie Logothetis

July 2, 2019 By Danielle Kirsh

Julie Logothetis

Julie Logothetis, President, Kahle Automation [Image from Kahle Automation]

Julie Logothetis was told from a young age that she needed to be an engineer. She was always fascinated with machines and how things worked and she never considered another career other than manufacturing.

“I attended Villanova University and early on in the engineering program, I figured out that I maybe didn’t want to be an engineer and went on to receive a degree in economics,” Logothetis said. “Upon graduating, I had a brief stint in the financial industry. Then I was given the opportunity to work in manufacturing at Kahle Automation. From the day I started working at Kahle, I knew I found the perfect balance.”

Logothetis has worked with Kahle Automation(Morristown, N.J.) for the last 37 years, working her way up from sales to management and operations.

MDO: What first drew you to manufacturing? When did you first know you wanted to be in the industry?

Logothetis: I don’t feel that when I started working at Kahle it was a conscious decision that I wanted to be in manufacturing. It was more that I was presented with an opportunity and I took a chance.

It was easier, however, to be a woman in manufacturing working with the medtech industry at that time. I think that had I been working in a more industrial environment, it may have been more difficult to be a woman.

MDO: What are some of the barriers women face in today’s medtech industry, if any?

Logothetis: Compared to some of the other manufacturing industries, I feel that the medtech industry is very welcoming to women and always has been.

MDO: Describe your biggest leadership challenge. How did you conquer it or resolve it, and what was the outcome?

Logothetis: Having worked in the automation industry and in particular with medtech companies for the past 37 years, the biggest challenge was and continues to be that at any initial introduction as I start to work together with new people and companies, I need to verify my position and my knowledge of the industry and Kahle. This might be an extra step that men don’t have to go through, but once we get past this, it’s business as usual.

MDO: Talk about your leadership skills. What is the most important lesson you have learned that has guided you in your career?

Logothetis: I never judge people by their title or position. I always want to know and understand who you are by how you present yourself and what you have to contribute to any situation. I try to keep an open mind and believe that everyone has something positive to offer and we all need to work together to be successful.

MDO: In your opinion, what more can be done to promote greater participation of young women in the medtech industry today?

Logothetis: I don’t believe that the medtech industry has to do anything special to promote greater participation of women. As long as the industry treats women equally and rewards them based on educational qualifications and merit, we will see more women in our industry.

MDO: What career advice would you give to your younger self?

Logothetis: Enjoy the ride! I consider myself so fortunate to have this opportunity to work in an industry I love and to meet and work with such diverse and interesting people.

MDO: Why is it important for companies to be more inclusive and have more women in charge?

Logothetis: It is extremely important for companies to be open-minded and consider all candidates on their merit and not on their sex. As more and more women enter the workforce in the area of manufacturing, I do expect that you will see more women in charge. Maybe it’s the economist in me. I loved statistics. I do believe that considering the percentage of men versus women in the workforce, the number of women in management should be representative.

Why promoting women in manufacturing could lead to more leadership roles: Q&A with Julie Logothetis

Julie Logothetis LinkedIn

This story originally ran March 27, 2019. Updated June 27, 2019.